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Walcott: Former Saint

Walcott: Former Saint

Arsenal will be looking to make it five league wins in a row when they face relegation-threatened Southampton at St Mary's on New Year's Day.

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The Saints come into this match on the back of an entertaining 3-3 draw at Stoke, where they led until the 90th minute and should have won.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for Nigel Adkins' side, who would have moved out of the relegation zone had they had hung on for the three points.

Instead the south coast outfit go into the clash against Arsenal with only one victory in their last seven league matches, and sit in 17th place on 17 points.

In team news, Adkins will still be without attacking midfielder Adam Lallana, who remains sidelined with a knee injury.

In stark contrast, the Gunners have been in fine form in the league of late and they travel to Southampton following one of their most impressive performances of the season, a 7-3 drubbing of Newcastle to sit in fifth place on 33 points.

Arsene Wenger, though, will still be without Abou Diaby (thigh) and Andre Santos (stomach).

However, German international Per Mertesacker could return to the side after overcoming the illness that saw him miss the Magpies encounter.

This fixture also sees the return of wingers Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to their former club; they both joined Arsenal from the Saints - Walcott in 2006 and Oxlade-Chamberlain in 2011.

Walcott is expected to lead the line again, after his hat-trick against the Tynesiders.

Southampton will hope to avoid another big defeat, after their first meeting this termsaw them hammered 6-1 at the Emirates.

Posted: 31/12/12 11:29

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